The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Quarter 2 (Q2) 2020–21 Complaints Report showed that while the number of complaints from small businesses decreased compared to the previous quarter, the proportion increased to 17 per cent of total complaints, making it the highest proportion of phone and internet complaints from small businesses in the last five quarters.
Between October and December 2020, residential consumers and small businesses made 30,564 complaints about phone and internet services, a decrease of 11.2 per cent compared to the previous quarter.
However, the seasonal comparison shows a 5.7 per cent increase when comparing July to December 2020 against the same period in the previous year.
For small businesses, complaints about the disconnection of services have appeared in the top 10 issues, replacing complaints about number problems. There was also an increase in the volume of complaints about business loss and having no working service during the quarter.
Complaints about the top 10 providers decreased in volume compared to the previous quarter, although some providers saw increases compared to Q2 2019–20. Complaints about Dodo Services Pty Ltd declined by 23 per cent compared to Q1 2020–21, and TPG closely followed with a decrease of 21 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Ombudsman Judi Jones said small business owners and telcos have done it tough through the pandemic.
“While the slight proportional increase in small business complaints isn’t yet cause for concern, it is important that small business owners have access to reliable phone and internet services, as many depend on these services to operate,” Ms Jones said.
“The impact of phone and internet problems can be significant for small business owners who don’t have a back-up plan.”